2018-01-10 / Front Page

Deep Freeze ends

By Dee Menear Irregular Staff Writer

NORTHERN FRANKLIN COUNTY — Residents welcomed a January Thaw after spending 12 days in what National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather observer Betty Wing of Eustis called a Deep Freeze. The prolonged bitter cold snap started Wednesday, Dec. 27 when Wing recorded a low of -5 degrees Fahrenheit. For days, low temperatures settled around -20 or lower, leading to frozen pipes and dead batteries. Wing noted record-breaking cold on several days during that period: Friday, Dec. 29 (- 23), Tuesday, Jan. 2 (-26), and Wednesday,

Jan. 3 (-19).

However, as Wing reported her findings around 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 8, she noted the temperature was a balmy 13 degrees. The 5-day outlook issued by Pine Tree Weather Monday predicted a warming trend as the week progressed with temperatures hitting above freezing both Thursday and Friday.

Thursday, Jan. 5, in the midst of the bitter cold, came a messy Nor’easter that dumped upwards of 10 inches of fresh snow across the area. As is typical, once the snow subsided, the winds picked up which led to whiteout conditions from blowing snow and power outages to downed wires. Kingfield Fire Chief Fred Nichols said his department responded to several calls for trees down but, thankfully, there were no calls for motor vehicle accidents during the storm.

Carrabassett Valley Police Department spent the afternoon of the storm on Bigelow Hill dealing with a stuck tractor trailer. The rear of the loaded 18-wheeler was stuck in the ditch while the tractor obstructed Route 27, said Assistant Chief Rick Billian. Travel was restricted to one lane for a period of time while a wrecker service removed the vehicle.

Billian reported several other semitrucks became stuck during that time but the road was clear by 6 p.m.

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